Volcano in Costa Rica

Stern Around the World in

Costa Rica

BSPA-UB 45: Sustainability Consulting in Costa Rica | Learn about sustainability and consulting with real-world projects.

Stern Around the World in Costa Rica

Learn about sustainability and consulting by working on projects, such as creating business and marketing plans for Costa Rican businesses in agricultural production, eco-tourism, and environmental education for youth.

This Fall 2022 semester course takes place in New York. Then from January 7th - 14th, 2023, you will take a class trip** to Costa Rica and have the opportunity to consult these businesses to help further develop their innovative sustainability programs. You will test your business hypothesis on the ground with local partners and experience how sustainability is essential to both Costa Rican culture and industry.

**International travel is dependent on COVID-19 safety restrictions.  If travel cannot move forward as planned, then the consulting opportunity will happen remotely over video calls and other virtual interactions.

There is no application required!

  • Enrollment is done through Albert for this course.
  • Enrollment is first-come, first-served, based on your registration time.
  • If the course fills up, there will be a Waitlist. Set up ‘Edit Swap’ function on Albert to ensure you’re not stuck on the waitlist
  • If you successfully enroll, you will be contacted via email with next steps. See additional details below.
  • This course is only open to NYU Stern students. Seniors who plan to graduate in January are not eligible since the course does not conclude until after the January trip.
  • Attending or viewing an Info Session is highly encouraged before enrolling in this course

Course Overview

BSPA-UB 45: Sustainability Consulting in Costa Rica
3 credits | Tuesdays from 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM
Course: Full Semester | Travel: 8 days or immersive consulting done remotely with companies in Costa Rica
Instructor: Professor Rachel Kowal (rkowal@stern.nyu.edu)

Some of the most forward-thinking businesses interested in taking care of the environment and society can be found in the beautiful country of Costa Rica. You will have the opportunity to work with small businesses in Costa Rica to help further develop their innovative sustainability programs. Since agriculture and tourism are Costa Rica’s top sources of domestic revenue, you will work with tropical fruit, chocolate, and hotel companies, as well as other entities, to generate future sustainable growth and community development.  

Pending the safety and feasibility of international travel, the course will include an 8-day January trip to Costa Rica, during which you and your group will test your hypothesis on the ground with local partners and become immersed in Costa Rican culture.  The Costa Rican partner companies are equipped to work with you virtually over Zoom if travel cannot be completed as planned.  

This 3-credit course can count towards:

  • Sustainable Business concentration 
  • Global Business co-concentration
  • Social Entrepreneurship minor (joint with Wagner)
  • General Stern elective


This course is open to NYU Stern students who meet the following prerequisites:

  • Must be in good academic and judicial standing with Stern and NYU
  • Must be enrolled at Stern in New York City during the semester you take the course
  • Seniors who plan to graduate in January are not eligible since the course does not conclude until after the January trip.

Program Timeline

Date Event/Deadline
Week of April 25th

During registration for the fall, you will register yourself via NYU Albert. (Open enrollment with waitlist as long as space remains available). The Stern Costa Rica team will then email you with the program contract and next steps.

2 Weeks after Registration* Deadline to submit contract with passport copy
Early Summer

Information regarding trip program fee and/or Costa Rica trip scholarship award sent to enrolled participants. (See "Estimated Expenses" below.)

Mid-July Fall NYU Bursar bills post (will reflect program fee and/or Costa Rica trip scholarship award)
Early August Fall NYU Bursar bills due 
September 5, 2022

The Costa Rica class begins

Early November **Deadline to purchase flights and submit travel information to the Costa Rica team
Early December

In-class trip pre-departure session

January 7 - 14, 2023 **Costa Rica trip

*If you register for this class after the first week of registration you must email the NYU Stern Costa Rica Team and submit your contract and passport copy within ten days of registering.

**You will arrange your own flights to and from Costa Rica. Please note the required program start and end times and plan your flights accordingly to account for customs and transportation to the hotel.  You must plan to arrive into the Juan Santamaria International Airport (San Jose, Costa Rica) early enough in the day so that you can check in on time for the official start of the program at the group hotel.  Late arrivals and early departures are not permitted.  You will be expected to stay with the group until the official end of the program. 

Estimated Expenses

Please note: Although you will register for this 3-credit course as part of your Fall schedule, NYU tuition and registration fees do not cover the additional fees for the trip to Costa Rica.

Estimated Expenses
You are Responsible For: Estimated Expenses: Notes:
Trip Program Fee TBD ~$1,900

Limited scholarships available (see below).

Round Trip Flight *$800 – 1,000

*Estimate. You will make your own flight arrangements.

Passport Renewal/Visa *$150 – 175

*Estimate. Your passport must be valid for six months after the trip concludes. Visas are not required for US Citizens.  

Vaccinations/Travel Medication *$50 – 200

*Estimate. Vaccinations are not required for US Citizens, though recommended by the CDC.

Personal Expenses *$100 – 200 *Estimate.

A Trip Program Fee will be required of all participants (unless you receive a Costa Rica travel scholarship). The trip program fee covers:

  • Hotel near San Jose, Costa Rica (2 nights)
  • Hotel near Monteverde, Costa Rica (6 nights)
  • Breakfast, lunch, and dinner starting with dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 8
  • Local transportation
  • Group excursions

Need-based Travel Scholarships

NYU Stern anticipates being able to offer a limited number of scholarships to participants who have demonstrated financial need. A scholarship will be applied directly to your NYU Bursar bill and help cover costs associated with the program fee (scholarship amounts do not apply to flight costs or additional costs not covered by the program fee).  Candidates must have an updated FAFSA or CSS Profile on file at NYU to be considered. More scholarship details will be sent in early summer 2022 to enrolled participants in the Sustainability Consulting in Costa Rica course.

Passport and Visa Requirements for All Participants

Passports: You must have a passport valid for more than six months beyond the dates of the trip.  More information on how to renew or obtain a U.S. passport can be found on the U.S. Department of State's website. If you are an international student please contact your Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  All NYU students are welcome to contact the NYU Office of Global Services (OGS) for assistance as well.

Visas: U.S. passports valid for more than six months beyond the dates of travel do not need a visa to enter Costa Rica. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please consult Costa Rica’s visa requirements.  If you have questions, please contact the NYU Office of Global Services (OGS).

It is your responsibility to apply and receive the appropriate visas for your passport in a timely manner for the trip. Trip Program Fee refunds are not provided if you fail to secure your visa.